Once upon a time, I was just your average high school senior, my sights set high on going off to college, seeing the world, the usual dream for any honors graduate. However, my world was rapidly flipped when I discovered I was expecting a baby two months prior to graduation day. I had to reroute every plan I had made for myself since first grade. I was the kid that took the SATs three times, that applied vigorously to every college, every scholarship. I had high expectations for my future, as did everyone around me, and I was determined to not allow an accidental pregnancy take that future away from me.
It wasn't hard to realize that I still had to continue my education, the difficulty lay in the road in which I had to take to afford that education. Degrees are expensive, no matter what avenue you are on. I had already been weary of loans and debt without the addition of raising a child. I had been working for two years in high school, but did my bank account show it? Of course not. So there I was, basically broke, pregnant, and desperately desiring a degree. At first, I tried to feel apathetic toward the situation. I tried to just let things go the way they would and not worry. But the 4.0 student inside me was not letting that happen. I made the choice to attend our local Community College and that alone was the best decision I could have made. Then, I worked hard to look into every way I could be assisted financially. They always talk about how easy it is to get free money as a single mom, but they never seem to include the work it really does take. I was writing letters after letters, describing my situation as applications for scholarships, digging up pay stubs and taxes to prove to the world that not only was in need of financial aid, but that I wanted my education enough to work for it.
It was a path that I wouldn't wish upon anyone, but one that helped me to find the hardest working part of my being. Currently I am raising a beautiful, healthy baby boy at nineteen years old, working two jobs, and gearing up to graduate with my transfer degree from only four terms as full time college student. Life is hard, for anyone, but that is what makes you realize how strong you really are and it shows just how much effort you will put into something you really want. Money is something that controls the world. It controls who you become and how you get there. But after going through all that I have to be where I am now, I can say that it is possible to control your money, and not allow it to control you.